Thanks for the link. I believe you wrote the following in the discussion:
"Oak has open pores, and reacts with iron."
This is interesting and somewhat bad news to me as I was going to make my
top out of good ole PA Red Oak. From the way it sounds, this might not be a
very good idea. Is the result simply bad coloring or are there other issues
to be aware of?
Thank again, I appreciate the input.
I would welcome input from USA residents.
English oak reacts rapidly with iron,
Any open pored wood is a questionable choice
for a non-finished bench, since crud
gets in the pores, and looks ugly.
I believe red oak is VERY open pored.
BugBear, I have no input on the US Oak but, love your website and thanks for
having it out there, it is a great resource and I will build your bow saw one
And the links to bench pages are a great help, it helped me discover what type
of end vise I will build, which is a combo of tail vise and long end vise as one
solid unit operated on a double sized sliding frame system with two bench
As far as an opinion on a bench top, I think American Ash would be great as
it is not a brittle chippy wood, I have done a little chiseling and sawing of Ash
and it has a rubbery tough resistance, as well as being softer than Oak, it will
not damage edge tools. Pro baseball bats are made from Ash. On the California
coast, $3.95 a B/F.
Alex - "newbie_neander" woodworker
Well, I've got some bookshelves that I made five and a half years ago
out of oak; they're mostly held together with finish nails (I was young
and didn't really understand how to use wood glue at the time), and
there's no blackening around the nails at all. They have been inside
all this time and never wet, though. (Someday I'll get around to
sanding and finishing them, but I'll have to find a place to put the
books that are on them first!)
On the other hand, I've got some oak boards recovered from a barn that
was put up in the ... I honestly have no idea, but the farmhouse on the
property dated from the 1930s, and the barn is probably contemporary
with that. In any case, the wood is black in a region around the nail
holes for about an eighth-inch away from the nail in the cross-grain
direction and nearly a half-inch each way along the grain. But those
were boards that were out in the weather for six or seven decades....
(Hmm. I wonder if it would be possible to ebonize oak with some variant
of this process....)
The "bmoses-nospam" address is valid; no unmunging needed.
"Yep. The vinegar and iron elixir. Reacts with the tannins."
Blood! Good ol Roy showed us a black spot on the oak workbench he was
copying, and said "This is what happens when you bleed on oak. It turns
black reacting with the iron in your blood." SWMBO was watching, shook
her head and walked away, saying that was a little more than she wanted
So, that's what you gotta do. Put a little more of yourself into your
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